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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN
Boston Marathon Terror Investigation; Tamerlan Tsarnaev's Body Claimed; Massive Wildfire; More Heat, Fierce Winds Out West; Oil Storage Tank Explodes; Neighbor Recants Seeing Leila Fowler's Killer; Suicidal Man Opens Fire At Houston Airport; North Korea Nuclear Threat; April Jobs Report Forecast; Hard To Bear!; Closing Arguments In Arias Murder Trial
Aired May 3, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): -- fireworks. All of this according to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who told investigators they moved up the date to the Boston marathon because the bombs were ready sooner than expected. Bombs Tsarnaev says, built in the very home his older brother Tamerlan shared with his wife and child.
Late Thursday, a van believed to be carrying Tamerlan's body, transferred it to a funeral home outside Boston. All this as investigators continue to focus on his widow, Katherine Russell. Yet it is unclear what, if anything, Russell may have known or suspected. Russell's attorney says she continues to cooperate with authorities.
And authorities also have more questions for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's three friends from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, now facing charges of obstructing justice, and lying to authorities. One of whom led authorities to Tsarnaev's laptop, which could provide more clues.
And as the investigation continues, so, too, does the recovery for victims. Like Marc Fucarile, who lost a leg in the bombing. The other leg shattered. His arms riddled with shrapnel.
MARC FUCARILE, BOSTON BOMBING VICTIM: I was scared because it was dark. I thought I was dead. I thought it was over.
CARROLL: Fucarile says he draws strength every day from a photo of his 5-year-old son.
FUCARILE: Every time stuck me with another needle or they cut me or they did something, when everything change, I was looking at that picture. That's what got me through it.
CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, Boston.
CARROLL: So once again, Zoraida, since the bombs were ready early, the plan was changed, it was moved up, and what we're hearing is according to this law enforcement source that change was made just two days before the Boston marathon. Once again a last-minute decision, but still a deadly decision -- Zoraida.
ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Incredible details. The more we find out the crazier it is. So Jason, do we have any idea now that Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body has been released to his family when he will be buried and where, I guess is a big question, as well.
CARROLL: Well, a lot of people here in the city of Boston are wondering where he will be buried because as you can imagine there's a lot of people here in the city who do not want Tsarnaev buried here. His family spokeswoman weighing in on this yesterday, very late last night, basically saying the family wants another independent autopsy performed before they make any sort of decision.
But the decision to have him buried in Russia seems to have already been made according to what we're hearing from a spokesperson, they do not want him buried in Russia. The Tsarnaev family apparently wants him buried right here in Boston.
SAMBOLIN: That's highly controversial. Jason Carroll live in Cambridge, thank you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Big news here in California, as well. Happening right now, a massive wildfire threatening homes and this fire is still growing. The Ventura County Fire in Southern California has now burned some 8,000 acres. The flames spreading from the mountains all the way to the pacific coast highway, several communities had to evacuate.
CNN's Stephanie Elam is live on the fire line in Ventura County, California, for us right now. Stephanie, what are the conditions like?
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right now, John, things have calmed down a bit. Over the last couple of hours we watched the hillside behind me actually just engulf in flames and then burn down, jump over the pacific coast highway, and run into the ocean, the Pacific Ocean here. Running out of real estate, that's one good thing. But when you have seven fires burning throughout the state, there are a lot of resources all over the map.
ELAM (voice-over): High winds, soaring temperatures and dry brush are giving California fire season an early start. Wildfires across the state are churning toward homes, keeping hundreds of firefighters busy, and residents on edge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stay until I know that my house is still here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as our family and our dogs are safe we can get through this.
ELAM: Fire sprouted up in four Southern California counties over the last couple of days. Two of the fires were contained quickly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We staffed up several weeks ago. We brought on air tankers, hired seasonal firefighters. What it bodes for us is what the rest of the year is going to be like and are we going to wear people out. That's the bigger question.
ELAM: But as firefighters were getting a handle on the summit fire burning about 25 miles west of Palm Springs, a blaze in Ventura County began to spread quickly, on 25-mile-per-hour winds. Erupting between the 101 Freeway and the Pacific Ocean north of Malibu, the so-called springs' fire charred about 6500 acres in just five hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we're getting those hot, long days, winds, and the low humidities, and this stuff is just ripe and ready to burn.
ELAM: It's the number of active fires, including three burning in Northern California, that's making this outbreak unusual.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't see this type of activity usually until August, September.
ELAM: In the wake of the summit fire, one man is dealing with immeasurable loss. His mother, who bought this home in 1973, passed away just one month ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank God I wasn't in the house when it happened. Thank God I was able to get my dog out, and my mom was watching over me. And so are the neighbors that are around.
ELAM: Unfortunate for that one man since his home was the only one to burn in that summit fire. That fire is now about 55 percent contained. It did burn about 3,000 acres in total. So good news on that front, but here where we're standing in Ventura County, they say that the containment is only 10 percent and as the hours wear on and the wind kicks up, that's when firefighters will be looking to get back in there and keep this fight on.
BERMAN: Stephanie, give us a sense of the terrain. What are the firefighters up against there?
ELAM: It is really rough terrain, John, because they've got to climb in to these ravines. They've got to climb up into these canyons and it's rocky. There's a lot of bush. It's very dry so that makes it very hard. And because of the winds yesterday, they weren't able to use their planes to drop those fire retardants and also water.
They had to just use helicopters. That also made it very difficult. So these fires out here in Southern California make it very difficult for these firefighters to get in there and stop them with shovels and picks and that's what they're doing.
BERMAN: Right, tough, tough conditions. Stephanie Elam, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
SAMBOLIN: It's 6 minutes past the hour. Dry heat and dusty winds are fueling those really fast-moving fires. So let's bring in meteorologist Jennifer Delgado. Jennifer, when will the conditions today cooperate or is this just going to get worse for the firefighters there?
JENNIFER DELGADO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: You know, we are going to go through a period later on this morning as well as this afternoon where wind conditions will get worse, but then by 5:00 all these warnings will be expired. Want to point out the winds are calm. That's what we're seeing across Southern California.
But as we get into the day, those winds will be potentially gusting up to about 45 miles per hour especially in the mountains when it comes down the valleys, of course, it even speeds up. Now as we track it through the hour for you, Friday, 10:00 a.m., look at those gusts, 29 as well as 31 for Santa Clarita.
As we go through the day as I said with those winds gusting potentially up to 45 that's certainly going to make it very difficult for the firefighting effort. By about 1:00 we start to see those winds subsiding and then 5:00, again, those red flag warnings are expected to expire.
Now, today we're expecting high temperatures, once again, right near the 90 degree mark. Yesterday, they had a record high of 98 degrees, but it's not just the heat. We've also been following the snow and the snow is still coming down. In fact we have some video for you coming out of Kansas City. And you're looking at the Orioles. They thought they were going to play a game, but unfortunately, with the snow coming down they had to do a little sliding around.
SAMBOLIN: A little fun then.
DELGADO: Have a little fun. Bring out the kid in them. We'll talk more about the snow and heavy rainfall across the southeast shortly.
BERMAN: It's awesome until one of them ends up on the D.L. I'm glad they're having fun.
DELGADO: I think the baseball --
SAMBOLIN: Thank you. It's 7 minutes past the hour. New this morning, emergency crews in Louisiana working frantically to keep a second oil storage tank from exploding. A nearby tank has already erupted into flames. It is happening in Denim Springs about 13 miles east of Baton Rouge. Some 30 homes in the area have been evacuated. We don't have any word yet on what actually caused that explosion.
BERMAN: New developments to tell you about in the search for the killer of 8-year-old Leila Fowler. Investigators in Calaveras County, California, say a neighbor who reported seeing a man run from Fowler's home around the time that she was killed, that witness has recanted her story. The little girl was found murdered in her home Saturday and investigators have reportedly collected fingerprints and other DNA evidence from the crime scene.
SAMBOLIN: It's 8 minutes past the hour. We're learning more this morning about a man who opened fire near a ticket counter at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport. He has been identified as 29-year-old Carnell Moore. Officials say Moore fired shots into the air yesterday sending everyone in Terminal "B" ducking for cover before a federal agent confronted him. The agent then reportedly shot Moore at the same time that the suspect was shooting himself in the head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was two shots about six or seven second delay, and two more, and then the final one, bunch of screaming, people running.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told us we should get down. At that point, we all just made our way to the back and the elevator down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAMBOLIN: So Moore left behind a suicide note indicating that he was struggling with quote, "a monster inside."
BERMAN: A Pentagon report to Congress says that North Korea will eventually have a long-range ballistic missile that can deliver nuclear weapons to the United States. The annual report to lawmakers cites the North's advances in ballistic missile systems as well as development in nuclear technology. It calls North Korea one of the biggest threats to the U.S. because of its willingness to undertake provocative behavior.
SAMBOLIN: So that all-important April jobs report will be released in just over two hours from now. And the numbers could move the markets this morning. Economists surveyed by CNN Money predict 140,000 jobs were added in April, and they are forecasting the unemployment rate will hold steady at 7.6 percent.
The Labor Department releases the report at 8:30 Eastern and our Christine Romans, you know she's going to break down what the numbers mean for you, for the economy. She's watching this very closely for us this morning.
BERMAN: It's big and it's breaking at 8:30 a.m. Meanwhile to keep you entertained take a look at what Evan Nielsen found sitting behind the wheel of his pickup truck.
SAMBOLIN: My goodness.
BERMAN: His truck in his driveway in California. That is a real life, big old, very real bear. Somehow this bear got inside the locked door, locked the door behind him, and instead of running for his life, Evan broke out his cell phone.
SAMBOLIN: Look at the steering wheel.
BERMAN: He crashed the inside of that. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EVAN NEILSEN, CAR OWNER: At one point he had both hands up on the steering wheel, was honking the horn with his snout, and it was pretty amusing for awhile. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Evan eventually called police. An officer opened the truck door. The bear raced back into the woods. Evan now has kind of a big repair bill. You see the inside of that truck, you know, the teeth marks on the steering wheel.
SAMBOLIN: Look at the face. I would have been running in the other direction to call police and there he was with his camera just taking video.
BERMAN: I love the fact that the bear locked the doors.
SAMBOLIN: Well, he could also unlock the doors, FYI. You never know. Coming up, she's a liar. Strong words from the prosecution as Jodi Arias breaks down in court. Will the jury convict? A look at the case as it is wrapping up.
BERMAN: Welcome back to EARLY START, everyone. High drama in the Jodi Arias trial, in a few hours the defense will deliver their closing argument. This is their last chance to convince the jury that Arias killed her boyfriend Travis Alexander in self-defense. Prosecutors took their turn yesterday and they pulled no punches. CNN's Ted Rowlands reports.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely without a shadow of a doubt she's a liar.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jodi Arias broke down listening to Prosecutor Juan Martinez methodically lay out his closing argument that she is a cold-blooded killer who premeditated the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.
JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: She knew, she absolutely knew, and had already planned it. She knew she was going to kill him.
ROWLANDS: Martinez told jurors that in 2008, Arias drove from Northern California to Alexander's home in Mesa, Arizona, armed with a knife and a stolen gun she took from her grandparents. She used cans of gasoline to refuel her car, and turned off her cell phone to avoid leaving a trail.
MARTINEZ: She knew that she was coming to kill him.
ROWLANDS: Family members openly wept as Martinez, using graphic photos from the crime scene, detailed how he says Arias brutally stabbed Alexander almost 30 times, and shot him in the head.
At one point, Martinez noticed that Arias was also crying.
MARTINEZ: She may cry now. But the jury instructions have told you that sympathy is not to be considered in this particular case. ROWLANDS: Arias, who originally told police she wasn't there, testified that she killed Alexander in self-defense. Martinez told jurors not to believe a word she said on the witness stand.
MARTINEZ: She's acting the part. And she's lying. She's making it all up. She has lied to everybody.
ROWLANDS (on camera): The defense will get its chance for closing when court resumes in the morning.
Then, after 17 weeks of testimony, including 18 days of Jodi Arias on the stand, the jury in this televised murder trial, will finally start to deliberate her fate.
Ted Rowlands, CNN, Phoenix.
SAMBOLIN: It is 16 minutes past the hour. Let's get you up to date.
Big developments in the Boston marathon terror investigation. A law enforcement source telling CNN that the Fourth of July was the original target date of the attack. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev telling investigators the date was moved up because the bombs were ready faster than they expected.
We've also learned this morning the bombs were built by the brothers in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's apartment.
BERMAN: It is hot, it is dry, and it is windy. That is a dangerous combination in southern California where right now a massive wildfire is burning out of control. The Springs Fire in Ventura County has destroyed 8,000 acres, damaged more than a dozen homes so far, 2,000 other homes are threatened.
Several communities in the Cal State University campus were evacuated and overnight the flames reached all the way to the Pacific Coast Highway.
SAMBOLIN: A lot of people are wearing masks in that area we saw in our live report this morning.
So a California man accused of raping women that he met through the dating Web site Christianmingle.com will soon find out if there's enough evidence for him to stand trial. Once the preliminary hearing for Sean Patrick Banks wraps up today, a judge will make that decision. One of banks' accusers testified yesterday that he attacked her within 10 minutes of visiting her home in November.
A second woman has also come forward, claiming she was raped by banks on a third date. That was back in 2009.
BERMAN: Going to be looking at Jon Bon Jovi. That's right. Jon Bon Jovi joining New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for a very good cause. The governor signed the overdose protection act into law. This encourages people to report drug overdoses without fear of being arrested.
Jon Bon Jovi's daughter reportedly overdosed on heroin last year. Misdemeanor charges were later dropped because of a similar law in New York.
SAMBOLIN: And a monthly jobs report due out in about two hours from now, and next, we're going to find out if it could be a real wild card.
SAMBOLIN: Look at that beautiful shot. New York City. I was asking what the weather's supposed to be like today. You looked it up, John?
BERMAN: Yes. If you look at this picture it says gorgeous. The weather is gorgeous.
My expert analysis of the weather is it's gorgeous.
SAMBOLIN: No rain?
BERMAN: No, it's in the 60s today, no rain. It's perfect.
SAMBOLIN: Can you just stay there for awhile and just admire how gorgeous it is?
But, no, we're going to mind your business this morning. Wall Street is waiting for only one thing today. It is the April jobs report. It's just over two hours away now, and stock futures holding steady in anticipation. It is a report on the economy, your job, and your money.
BERMAN: The expectation is right around 140,000 jobs created. The expectation is the unemployment rate to stay unchanged at about 7.6 percent.
But Christine Romans is here with what could be a wild card in this report.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, the interesting thing about this report. We're looking for 140,000.
But, last month was a shocker. Remember it was 88,000. That was a real disappointment. And it missed the mark by a lot, because a half a million people dropped out of the workforce taking the labor participation rate down to the lowest level in three decades.
I'm going to be very, very closely watching that because it's a sign that confidence isn't high. People don't look for work until they have some hope that they'll actually find a job. And they've been dropping out of the labor market.
We also have this thing we've been calling the spring swoon. We've seen it the past few years. The year starts out strong for jobs and sputters out into the summer. The worry signs are there. Recent report says private sector hiring was disappointing last month. The government's forced spending cuts are kicking in. We won't see those furloughs but we could see visible signs of a slowdown by hiring agencies, by government agencies. And manufacturing is slowing in some areas. If there is any backstop in the economy, it's the Federal Reserve.
Policymakers have pledged to prop up the economy for the foreseeable future. By propping it up, I mean pumping money into the economy and keeping interest rates low. It's sort of like training wheels on the bicycle and we have a long way to go before those training wheels come off.
One of the things so closely tied to the fate of the economy is home sales. Housing. And there's a new report saying that house flipping, it -- is back. Wasn't that an issue before the crash?
ROMANS: Yes, and it blew my mind when this report came out. That flipping is back in some of these towns where people are, a lot of them are cash purchases, flipping houses, it's RealtyTrac.
I want to show you some of the places where they say where flipping is back. Number one, Orlando, Florida, where the average profit is 63 percent from a flip. In real dollars, it's about $65,000 return on an investment. Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tampa.
SAMBOLIN: The hardest hit areas.
ROMANS: The common theme here. These states topped the list of foreclosures during the housing crisis. There's a buying opportunities for investors who have cash and they're making a boatload of money in this.
Most of us don't buy a house with cash. We take out mortgages. I can tell you, the brand-new numbers on mortgage rates, 15 year at a record low 2.56 percent.
Berman is gleeful over there. And usually the refinancing tool. A 30-year pretty close to a record low, as well. Did you do it?
BERMAN: Well --
SAMBOLIN: You're in the process.
ROMANS: Can you believe it? It's going to be money in your pocket, Berman. You are going to be an economic driver. You're going to be able to go out there, use your extra $25 a month, and spend it somewhere.
BERMAN: There's a first time for everything, I suppose.
SAMBOLIN: Twenty-five dollars a month.
OK. What's the one thing we need to know about our money? ROMANS: There are 3.9 million jobs available. That's according to the Labor Department. If you factor how many people are unemployed, it works out to about three people for every job opening.
Let me say that again. Three people for every job opening. That's a lot better than it was when they were nearly seven at the height of the crisis. Three for every job opening -- as you're looking at these job numbers today, folks, I want you to remember you've got to beat out two other people. You've got to be better that two other people.
You've got to have a better resume, trying to make sure you're filling the gaps on your resume with great volunteer work, great professional organization, you've got to make sure that you're highlighting the thing that's creating value at a company that you're working for because you've got two other people to beat out for the job and I know you can do it.
BERMAN: I love that.
SAMBOLIN: Pep talk this morning.
BERMAN: Christine, thanks so much.
Twenty-five minutes after the hour.
Up next, stepping up security in the wake of the Boston bombing. How officials at the Kentucky Derby plan to protect over 100,000 people at Saturday's run for the roses.
SAMBOLIN: And if you are leaving the house right now, you can watch us any time right on your desk top, your mobile phone, just go to CNN.com/TV.
SAMBOLIN: Weapons of mass destruction built in a seedy third floor apartment. We have new details on the Boston bombing. Plus, including the suspects' original high-profile target.
BERMAN: A raging inferno racing for the coast. Blistering flames jump the Pacific Coast highway forcing thousands of people out of their homes.
SAMBOLIN: And Reese Witherspoon unscripted. Video of her infamous run-in with a traffic cop. The actress in a performance she probably wishes you would never see.
BERMAN: Unscripted and some may say unhinged.
SAMBOLIN: Yes, indeed unhinged.
Welcome back to EARLY START. Glad you're with us. I'm Zoraida Sambolin.
BERMAN: And I'm John Berman. It is Friday, May 3rd. About 30 minutes after the hour right now.
We want to start with major developments right now this morning from the Boston marathon terror investigation. CNN has learned that the bombs allegedly detonated by the Tsarnaev brothers were built in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's apartment.